The BMW 3-Series began production back in 1975 and is one of the German automaker’s luxury sedans. The 2012 model year will mark the 3-Series’ sixth generation since its birth and will incorporate all of the current versions for the luxury car: 2-door coupe and convertible, 4-door saloon, 5-door touring, and 5 door liftback. The new 3-series is expected to be powered with new aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines ranging from 135 to 220 horsepower.
The current model is powered by a choice of four different engine. The 3.0L I-6 produces 230hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.0L twin turbo diesel gets 265hp and 425lb-ft of torque. Another option is the 3.0L twin turbo I-6 getting 300hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and the final engine option is a 4.0L V8 producing 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Engines can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a six- or seven-speed automatic.
The 2012 racing season has already begun and we’re now seeing participants of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters - that’s DTM, in case you didn’t know - show off their vehicles in the past couple of weeks.
BMW Motorsports has been a regular supplier of race cars in DTM for the past couple of years. This season, the German automaker’s racing division is back in DTM with six BMW M3 DTM race cars, including the recently unveiled Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM.
The racer will carry the design livery of Castrol EDGE, considered as Castrol’s strongest and most advanced range of engine oil, and Aral Ultimate, Germany’s largest network of gas stations.
As far as powertrain is concerned, the race car will be powered by a V8 engine that was fitted with its own air restrictor to adhere to racing regulations. With the air restrictor in place, the M3 DTM is capable of producing 480 horsepower, while hitting 0-60 mph in just three seconds, and carrying a top speed of 186 mph.
This particular M3, re-dubbed as the "Orange Fever," was initially given the aforementioned VF620 Supercharger System, one that gave it an astounding 620 horsepower. But now that the car has logged over 70,000 miles, it’s only fitting for it to be re-tuned. Thanks to VF Engineering and European Auto Source, the Orange Fever was given an updated ECU unit, an LCI taillight conversion, and Macht Schnell Competition spacers, resulting in an increased output of 643 horsepower.
Additionally, the car was given matte black carbon fiber aerodynamic panels from noted German tuner Vorsteiner that includes a carbon front bumper, trunk diffuser, and exhaust system. Last, the Orange Fever was fitted with a new set of 20" Radenergie R7 wheels.
All told, the project looks spectacular, especially when you can combine the matte black finish on the aero kit with those 20’s and the re-upped engine credentials - even if it’s got some serious mileage under its hood.
One of our favorite parts of any auto show is seeing what the aftermarket industry has done to some of the finest vehicles in the world. At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, we were completely floored by all the programs being displayed.
The list below highlights some of the most impressive programs we saw. Some came from some of the best tuners in the world and some came from some surprising tuners. Nevertheless, it all amounted to some pretty impressive sights. You can check out the list of vehicles that were given tuning programs and let us know which of these works you consider your favorites.
Check out the list of tuner cars from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show after the jump.
It’s time to take a short break from all the news surrounding the Geneva Motor Show to talk about a car that won’t be making its debut in Switzerland. This car is the next generation BMW M3 sedan which has been caught testing one more time in Sweden.
When it comes to the engine powering the next M3, rumors have stated two possibilities. The first is a fresh 3.3-liter six-cylinder engine equipped with three turbos for a total output of 450 HP. This engine will sprint the M3 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while top speed is still electronically limited to 155 mph. The second possibility is a new 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that is currently under development. The future M3 will feature a more aggressive design to help distinguish it from the standard 3-Series sedan.
The new generation BMW M3 will be unveiled in 2013 and will only be offered as a sedan. Coupe and convertible models will go on sale under the 4-Series badge.
AC Schnitzer is one of the first tuners to offer an upgrade package for the new generation BMW 3-Series. Their kit, named ACS3 2.8 Turbo, is set to make its world debut next week at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but until then the tuner has decided to offer us a few new details on the model.
Based on the BMW 328i, the new ACS3 2.8 will take the brand-new 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine and tuned it to deliver a total of 295 HP and a peak torque of 302 lb-ft, up from the standard 245 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. This boost in power is accompanied by a sports rear silencer with two chromed "Racing" tailpipes in a right/left combination.
For the exterior, the tuner has added a front spoiler, chromed front grille, rear roof spoiler, rear spoiler, and rear skirt extension, complemented by designer stripes. The car will be offered with 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels combined with a suspension spring kit. For the interior, AC Schnitzer is offering a "Black Line" aluminum cover for the BMW "i-Drive" system controller, a "Black Line" aluminum handbrake handle, an aluminum pedal set, foot rests, and velour floor mats.
Sales for the BMW ACS3 2.8 Turbo by AC Schnitzer will begin in the summer of 2012.
If anyone was given the opportunity to choose between the BMW M3 and the BMW X5M, many would probably choose the M3. That is, of course, unless they had a bunch of kiddos and groceries to haul around. For those that don’t, or have a second car for that, the M3 is enough to thrill with its sportiness and agility, and the fact that it looks great.
With those features going for the M3, the X5M would seem to have very little going for it, but BMW is out to prove that’s not the case. They grabbed up both vehicles and planted them in Laguna Seca for a little one on one action. With its all wheel drive system and 555 HP Twin Turbo V8 engine delivering exceptional performance on the road or the track, the X5M may have a few tricks up its automotive sleeve to outdo the M3.
Take a look at the video to see for yourself. You may change your answer if ever given the choice between the two.
Ahead of its Geneva debut, AC Schnitzer is giving us a sneak peek of their new program for the new BMW 3-Series. The comprehensive program consists of new aerodynamic components, interior improvements, suspension solutions, and performance modifications, all of which adds up to a pretty intense project.
Among the equipment that’s expected to be part of AC Schnitzer’s aero program include a new front spoiler, rear roof spoiler, and rear spoiler. There’s also a new sports rear silencer with chromed "Racing" tail-trim, a new spring kit, a rear skit with matching rear skirt protection foil, and a new set of 18", 19" or 20" wheels.
Inside, refreshed 3-Series will carry a new three-spoke sports airbag steering wheel, an illuminated leather gear knob with a digital shift display, aluminum handbrake handles, an aluminum cover "Black Line" for i-Drive System controller, aluminum pedal sets and foot rest, velours floor mats.
AC Schnitzer has also recently announced that the program will carry performance upgrades for the new 3-Series and its various trims. Already developed are for the 318d and 320d models, which will net 171 and 218 horsepower, respectively. Meanwhile, programs for the 328i and the 335i are still in development with output expected to hit 294 horsepower and 360 horsepower, respectively.
BMW’s latest M Performance Parts division has been launched on the market a few weeks ago when we saw the new M550d xDrive, the X5 M50d and the X6 M50d. Of course all these three models will be among the new vehicles BMW will display in Geneva. But next the them, the M Performance Parts will also be expanded to models like the 3-Series.
For the 3-Series BMW is offering a M Performance Power Kit for the 320d version. This will increase the engine’s output to a total of 200 HP (up from 184 HP) and a peak torque of 309 lbs-ft. All these changes have improved the car’s 0 to 60 mph sprint time by about 1.0 seconds. In order to handle the extra power the car has been equipped with a new sports suspensions system with a particularly large-scale yet weight-optimized BMW M Performance brake system that features aluminum fixed calipers at both front and rear. The car will now sit on a new set of 20" M light alloy wheels in V-spoke design.
As for the aerodynamic parts BMW is offering a rear spoiler, rear fins, carbon exterior mirror caps, a radiator grille in high-gloss black, diffuser inserts for the rear apron and side sill foliations with M Performance inscription. For the interior you will get BMW M Performance steering wheel with Race Display, interior strips in Alcantara/carbon, BMW M Performance stainless steel pedals.
UPDATE 04/15/12: If you were curious as to how BMW developed the overall program for the 3-Series with M Performance Parts, worry no more. The Bavarian automaker has released a video detailing the development of the entire customization work, which you can watch by clicking on the photo above.
In an interview with WhatCar, BMW’s Head of Engine Development, Peter Nefischer has confirmed that the company is preparing a three-cylinder engine for the 3-Series sedan to be completed in the next couple of years. Currently, three-cylinder engines are only used for small cars like the Volkswagen Up! and Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost, but the new fuel emission regulation may force many automakers to adopt the same strategy.
"Downsizing will go further, with smaller, more powerful engines," he said. He states that the reason behind going smaller is that they have reached their limit in terms of technology on their standard internal combustion engines. These smaller engines would then be combined with turbochargers to give them the required power for a car as large as the 3 Series.
BMW is currently preparing a three-cylinder engine for the i8 hybrid supercar, but don’t expect to see that same engine applied to the 3-Series because the 3-Series won’t be combined with an electric motor.
Safety cars are an integral piece of motor racing, so much so that a lot of racing series have gone the route of building specific safety cars exclusively for their use. The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) - that’s the German Touring Car Masters - has unveiled their official safety car for the 2012 race season and to no one’s surprise, they picked a local vehicle in the BMW M3.
The M3 DTM Safety Car is actually based on the M3 GTS and just like any other safety car used for racing purposes, this one was specially modified by BMW M GmbH with plenty of enhancements, including unique bodywork painted in Aline White with a special safety car livery, a modified CFRP engine bonnet with vents, a slew of BMW M Performance Accessories on the gurney and flaps, a new orange roof light unit, and a new set of 19" competition wheels wrapped in 255/35 and 285/30 tires with a fixed-caliper system and Stahlflex brake hoses. Meanwhile, the interior of the M3 DTM Safety Car gets new Recaro seats, three and six-point harnesses, and a new steering wheel straight out of the BMW M Performance Accessories catalog.
Under the hood, the M3 DTM Safety Car is powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower at 8,300 rpm and is mated to a 7-speed M dual-clutch transmission with Drivelogic capabilities. These figures allow the car to hit 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds with an impressive top speed of 189 mph.